Faculty & Staff Contact Us Search

OTC’s Outstanding Instructors Announced

Okefenokee Technical College (OTC) president, Dr. Gail Thaxton, is proud to announce the college’s finalists for the 2007 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Education. The nominees are Larry Carr, Automotive Technology; Derrell Harris, Computer Information Systems; and Laree Thomas, Computer Technology.

These instructors will be interviewed by a panel of judges from industry and business, and one of them will be selected to represent OTC at the consortium judging.

Larry Carr came to OTC in 2003. Prior to teaching Automotive Technology at OTC, Carr worked in the Automotive Repair industry for 26 years as a Parts and Service Director, Service Manager, and an Automotive Technician.

After graduating from Waycross High School in 1976, Carr attended Okefenokee Technical College (Waycross-Ware Tech), where he was an honor graduate and received his two-year Auto Technician certification.Rick Perkins Nominees

Carr is an ASE Master Certified Technician and has numerous certifications in the automotive field, including certifications from Ford, Mazda, Chrysler, and others.

He received his specialized education and training from various training programs, including the Ford Motor Training Centers in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, Atlanta, and Detroit. He also attended Mazda Training centers in Florida and Chrysler centers in Georgia and Florida.

Derrell Harris, a Computer Information Systems instructor, taught science and computers at Pierce County High School before joining OTC. He currently teaches courses in computer basics, networking infrastructure (Cisco), client-server networks, and PC maintenance and repair.

After completing the Cisco Networking Specialist Technical Certificate of Credit from Okefenokee Technical College in 2001, Harris continued his computer training. Now, he is a Cisco Certified Academy Instructor for Fundamentals of Network Security, for CCNP, and for CCNA. He has also earned numerous additional certifications by Microsoft, CompTIA, and CIW.

Harris holds an Associate Degree in Science from Waycross College (1984), a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University (1986), and a Master’s degree from Valdosta State University (1997).

Among other professional achievements and honors, Harris was selected as the Rotarian Community Award Recipient for Service Above Self in 2003 and he co-authored several sections/chapters of the Cisco Networking Academy Program’s CCNA version 3 curriculum update.

Laree Thomas has been employed with OTC since 2001 when she worked as a part-time Library Assistant and taught SCT 100 classes. She was hired full-time as a computer technology instructor in the Economic Development division in 2002.

Prior to joining the OTC staff, Thomas worked with International Paper/Champion. She was also the manager of The Corral in Blackshear for three years.

Thomas holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Applied Science from Valdosta State University, AAS in Computer Information Systems from Waycross College, AA in Sociology from Waycross College, and AAT in Computer Information Systems from Okefenokee Technical College.

In addition to being Microsoft certified in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, Thomas is also a CompTIA A+ Certified Professional and a certified Customer Service Specialist. She is skilled in numerous areas in her career field, including web design, SQL, Blackboard, Photoshop Elements, among many others.

This year’s nominees for the Okefenokee Technical College 2007 Rick Perkins award are (L to R) Larry Carr, Laree Thomas, and Derrell Harris.


More Success Stories